I've started an ongoing "Note" on my iPhone called "God is:". Its a place where I notate things that God shows me about Himself that are of course biblical, and I may have already known about in my head, but are things that He reveals to me about Himself by teaching them to me through personal experience. It has been an excellent practice and super encouraging to look back on later.
Every time I discover something "new" I put it in my "Notes" application on my phone and save it with the date and a scripture reference if I have one.
One of the main things that God has shown Himself to be to me this year is "my Home." October 9, 2010 I wrote that down along with a reference to Psalm 90, which reads:
"Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man to destruction, and say, 'Return, O children of men.' For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: in the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers. For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil. Let your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands."
It just struck me so strongly, in October, as we had already been praying for some time about moving to Berkeley to start a church and were uncertain of the future, that God alone is our dwelling place.
Psalm 90 is so beautiful, especially due to the fact that it was "A Prayer of Moses the man of God." Moses was the man in limbo: he was an Israelite by birth, although not really a Hebrew in the sense of life and practice having grown up as the Pharoah's (adopted) grandson, but not a true Egyptian either. He was a man outcast in the desert, rejected by Israel, rejected by Egypt, left without a home. So, he tends sheep for years in the wilderness and then later God sends Him back to Egypt to rescue the Israelites and lead that mutinous group through the desert, wandering for 40 years. It must have been frustrating. It must have been discouraging. The man never had an earthly home or earthly security. Yet it seems as though Moses understood something about God, something better than earthly security. Moses knew God. The Promised Land was not his true dwelling place, his ultimate goal; God was. "Teach us to number our days," he prayed. This life is but a vapor, nothing to be compared to eternity with Him.
Neither should finding a home in Berkeley be my ultimate goal, though of course we are trying to find a place for our family. But like Moses testified, "[He] has been our dwelling place[...]" Finding a home in Berkeley is proving frustrating, difficult, and darn near impossible. Scam artists galore offer false hope (and housing) at every turn. Logistically and logically, it does not seem possible for this move to happen. Often I think of the verse I wrote here yesterday, "[...]Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You," 2 Chronicles 20:12. But, in reality, my truest difficulty has already been accomplished for me through Jesus Christ who beat sin and death for me to give me an eternal place with Him. He alone satisfies me. He is my home. How then can I worry? Berkeley? I'll let Him deal with that... But we sure could use your prayers! Thanks, friends.